Home » Resources » Mimetic Theory 101

Mimetic Theory 101

Mimetic Theory 101 is our video class introducing the basics of mimetic theory.  A quick overview of mimetic theory is provided here. Let us know if you have any comments or questions!

Mimetic Theory 101: Angels and Desire in The Bishop’s Wife

Raven Foundation Founder Suzanne Ross explains the mimetic nature of desire in the 1947 film, The Bishop’s Wife, starring Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young. Grant plays an angel named Dudley who knows what divine love is all about. Dudley works his magic in a way that will fill you the spirit of the holiday season.

After watching the film, enjoy the lively discussion that followed on December 6, 2010 at the Raven Foundation offices. Enjoy the lively discussion. Your comments are welcomed.


Session 1: Keeping up with the Joneses


  1. Do you agree that we influence one another to desire certain objects?  Or, do our desires arise within our own selves?
  2. Have you ever tried to “keep up with the Joneses”?

Mimetic Theory 101: Session 2 – How I Scapegoated the Joneses


  1. Have you ever been the victim of scapegoating?  What happened?
  2. Have you ever scapegoated anyone?  How?

An excellent comment came from our youtube site (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rKbz-xJhoE) concerning the unconscious aspect of scapegoating.  Part of the great danger of the human propensity to scapegoat is this unconscious aspect.  Unless our natural tendency to scapegoat is pointed out to us, we are not aware of our actions when we scapegoat.  But now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Session 3: There’s Gonna Be a Floody Floody


  1. Do you agree that the “Judahite” flood story is a critique of the Babylonian flood myth?
  2. How might the story of Noah and the Flood critique our modern culture?
  3. What are some modern myths we tell ourselves that are similar to the Babylonian myth?

Session 4: Great Literature


  1. Do you see a relationship between Shakespeare and mimetic theory?
  2. Why or why not?

Session 5: The Power of Forgiveness


  1. How might forgiveness have the power to transform our world?
  2. Why is it so hard to forgive?

Session 6: Competition and Rivalry


  1. How has culture trained you to be competitive?
  2. Is it possible believe that there is enough “goodness” to go around?  Or are we trapped in a vision of scarcity?  Why/why not?

Session 7: Violence Unveiled: Desire of Toddlers and Desire of Nations

Check out Gil Bailie’s book Violence Unveiled.  It’s one of (if not the) the best introductions to mimetic theory.


  1. What do you think about desire and national conflict?

Session 8: Reply to a Friend: What is Mimetic Theory?

This is a response to a question from a friend on Facebook.  Do you think it’s helpful?

A Higher Cawing

The Raven Foundation spokesbird encounters resistance to the foundation’s message of nonviolence, confronts her own violence, and learns forgiveness is the only truly creative act. Starring Molly Brennan and Adrian Danzig of 500 Clown. Written by Suzanne Ross and Gerard Jamroz. Directed by Gerard Jamroz. Produced by Maura Junius.


© 2011 Raven Foundation. Site by JPMM.

Scroll to top